Studies in Language Variation, Meaning and Learning
OLE SCHÜTZLER - Regional (In-)Variability of Vowel Space Organisationin Scottish Standard English 183
OLE SCHÜTZLER Regional (In-)Variability of Vowel Space Organisation in Scottish Standard English1 1. Introduction This chapter looks at the vowel phonology of Scottish Standard Eng- lish (SSE) from a geographical perspective. A sample of 16 speakers of SSE is divided into three groups: one with speakers from Edin- burgh (group I), another with speakers from the northern central part of Scotland (group II), and a third with speakers from the Northeast, i.e. Aberdeenshire (group III). After a general discussion of SSE pho- nology, the data, and the methods of acoustic vowel analysis applied in this chapter, each of the three regional subsamples will be com- pared with widely accepted traditional articulatory descriptions of SSE. Between the three groups, it is of special interest to identify rela- tively invariable features and contrast them with those that display more marked variation. The main objective is to identify stable core elements of SSE on the one hand and optional or variable elements on the other. Additionally, two age groups will be compared within the Edinburgh group to test whether the shared characteristics of that sub- sample appear to vary and, by implication, to change over time. Throughout the chapter the terms system and vowel system are used in the phonological sense, i.e. they refer to the nature and general arrangement of contrasting vowel phonemes in SSE, especially in 1 The author is grateful for funding from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and the European Regional Development Fund (under CONSOLIDER...
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